Communist Party Books

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Karl Kautsky on Colonialism (2013)

With a critical introduction by Mike Macnair.

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The kick inside — revolutionary opposition in the CPGB, 1945–1991

The inner-party struggle in the Communist Party of Great Britain after the Second World War has rarely been given proper consideration. When historians have stumbled upon the fractures of the party’s latter years, such events have often been boiled down to misleading stereotypes such as ‘tankies versus Euros’.

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Fantastic Reality (2nd edition 2012)

Religion, as defined by Marxism, is fantastic reality. Fantastic, not in the trite sense that the claims religion makes about existence are verifiably untrue, unreal or baseless, but in the sense that nature and society are reflected in exaggerated form, as leaping shadows, as symbols or inversions.j

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Head to head in Halle (2011)

“We are on the field of battle. The audience in the hall is divided in two sections: it is as if a knife has cut them sharply in two. Two parties are present.” Grigory Zinoviev’s description of the Halle congress of the Independent Social Democrats (USPD) in October 1920. Would the USDP and its 700,000 members opt for the Third International or attempt to stay a halfway house floating uneasily between communism and official social democracy? The Halle congress would decide.

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Revolutionary Strategy (2008)

The free market triumphalism of the 1990s is over. Early 21st century capitalism looks like Karl Marx’s description: growing extremes of wealth and poverty, and irrepressible boom-bust cycles. The centre-left clings to nationalist and bureaucratic-statist nostalgia for the social-democratic Cold War era. The far left clings to the coat-tails of the centre-left. It cannot unite itself - let alone anyone else - because it is unwilling to reinterrogate the ideas of the early Communist International, especially on the revolutionary party. To move beyond this impasse we need to re-examine critically the strategic ideas of socialists since Marx and Engels. In this book, Mike Macnair begins the task.

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Fantastic Reality (2007)

Religion, as defined by Marxism, is fantastic reality. Fantastic, not in the trite sense that the claims religion makes about existence are verifiably untrue, unreal or baseless, but in the sense that nature and society are reflected in exaggerated form, as leaping shadows, as symbols or inversions.

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Remaking Europe (2004)

European unity is one of the biggest, most complex and bitterly contested political issues of the day - there are no easy 'yes' or 'no' answers. Europe is an enigma. We are told it is a nascent military threat and a guarantor against war; a wide field of struggle and a remote bureaucratic machine; a black hole of patronage, subsidy and corruption and a global haven of stability, The 25 heads of government propose enshrining the virtues of neo-liberal capitalism, the EU's quasi-democratic institutions and reformist palliatives. We need our own inspiring, and thoroughly practical, alternative. In this book, Jack Conrad argues that the working class can and must establish a 'third', fully articulated, camp with a view to winning our own, social, Europe. A Europe stamped by the working class, which is ready for its domination and rapid emancipatory extension.

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Europe: The challenge of continental unity (2002)

Many on the left view Europe, the European Union and the euro with trepidation. Joining the euro zone will mean the end of Britain’s sovereignty and the rule of an unaccountable European Central Bank. The euro is supposedly the nuclear weapon of those who want an EU capitalist superstate. If the euro replaces the pound, working class strength will be severely reduced – some say to a vanishing point. This outlook owes more to nationalism than internationalism. There is another tradition. That of Karl Marx, Fredrick Engels, Karl Kautsky, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Rosa Luxemburg.

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Towards a Socialist Alliance party (second edition, 2001)

Some comrades in the Socialist Alliance say we should settle for a loose conglomeration of leftwing groups and local campaigns. For these comrades the word ‘party’, when it comes to the Socialist Alliance, is an anathema. It is as if they were anarchists. Of course such comrades already their own ‘party’. Jack Conrad argues, however, that there is no party. They are groups or, worse, sects. Members who disagree with the described ‘line’ are expected to gag themselves in public. Either that or face expulsion.

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Towards a Socialist Alliance party (first edition, 2001)

Some comrades in the Socialist Alliance say we should settle for a loose conglomeration of leftwing groups and local campaigns. For these comrades the word ‘party’, when it comes to the Socialist Alliance, is an anathema. It is as if they were anarchists. Of course such comrades already their own ‘party’. Jack Conrad argues, however, that there is no party. They are groups or, worse, sects. Members who disagree with the described ‘line’ are expected to gag themselves in public. Either that or face expulsion. 

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In the enemy camp (1993)

Why do communists stand in elections? Marxists have always viewed parliamentary democracy as a sham. So whys does the Communist Party of Great Britain - in the tradition of Lenin's Communist International - think that standing in elections is "obligatory"? Jack Conrad examines the theory and practice of communist electoral and parliamentary work - from Russia's Bolsheviks to the Communists Party's 1992 general election in Britain.

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From October to August (1992)

The August 1991 counterrevolution unleashed an unprecendented barrage of bourgeois triumphalism. The bourgeoisie think they will now last forever. They want, they need, to believe that they have beaten, not simply this or that Communist Party, this or that revolution. No, they want to believe that the collapse of 'official communism' is the organisational expression of capitalism's final victory over its own mortality.

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Which Road? (1991)

Without a Communist Party the working class can never liberate itself. And without a communist programme there can be no genuine Communist Party. The roots of the collapse of the bureaucratic socialist states of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union can be seen in those parties' abandonment of Marxism. This was not the fault of one person, or the break-down in collective intellect. The programmes of 'official communism' reflected - were designed to serve - those in the workers' movement who had no interest in revolution. In this book Jack Conrad deals with the reformist programmes of various strands of opportunism in Britain.

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